What Chefs Feed Their Kids

One of my favorite things about blogging is the free books. I’m not much of a book-buyer–being that my library system is well-stocked, efficient, and user-friendly–but sometimes it is nice to have one’s Very Own Copy of a book. And last week I received two lovely books for my perusal (and possible review) in the mail, one of which was this:

Fanae Aaron is an art director, not a chef, but when it came time to feed her son, she wanted more for him than rice cereal, that staple North American “first food” for babies–the “blandest and least exciting food ever created.”

She writes:

“I wondered if there was a way to feed kids that both nourishes and stimulates them. Our brains are wired to burst to life with new sensations. They light up and chemicals are released in our brains as we experience the pleasure and delight of something new and interesting.”

I love how her artistic sensibilities shaped her motivation for this project: she wanted food to be what it truly is–a creative sensory experience and an experience of love, care, and nourishment–not merely ‘healthy fuel.’ And so Fanae interviewed twenty or so very different chefs–from Ana Sortun to Zack Gross–to illustrate their strategies and attitudes in feeding their children.

Though it’s got gorgeous illustrations and fabulous recipes, this is more than another cookbook–there’s a lot of child development in there–examining why adventurous eaters suddenly become picky, for example, and explaining why certain foods and combinations simply don’t appeal to kids. Plus, the recipes are recipes that can be made for the whole family–not simply for the baby–with simple modifications for the young ones.

Son #1, with sweet potato

And there’s plenty of advice on how to get kids interested in trying new things–from cooking with them (with the aid of things like the learning tower) to reading books involving food and cooking.

(Our favorite children’s book involving cooking is Eddie’s Kitchen by Sarah Garland.)

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie with kids or a newbie foodie with kids or simply a parent who wants to start your kid on something tastier than rice cereal (we started with avocado!), I think this book will appeal to all your senses. It’s lovely.

Son #2, with avocado

“It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the other.”

~M.F.K. Fisher

Amen.

Many thanks to Jessica at Globe Pequot for the review copy of this book! You can buy yours here or here.

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